01/09/2012 14:00 v Sunderland

22nd June 2017

The 10-man Swans came from behind twice to claim a draw against Sunderland at the Liberty in a game which was marred by Neil Taylor being stretchered off with a broken ankle.

Taylor went down under a challenge in the 15th minute and called for immediate treatment, and the left-back was sent straight to hospital where it was later confirmed he had dislocated and broken his ankle in three places.

Shocked by that major setback, Michael Laudrup's side then rallied together as they looked to overcome the devastating injury of their team-mate, and they were brave in their efforts.

The game really sprang into action in the last five minutes of the half. Steven Fletcher, a big-money signing for Sunderland, took advantage of a rare Ashley Williams mistake and slotted home past Michel Vorm with a neat finish on his league debut.

The Swans were back on level terms soon after as Wayne Routledge fired home after Nathan Dyer's fine flicked pass.

But the visitors were back in front seconds before the half-time whistle as Fletcher met a back-post cross from a free-kick.

The game continued to thrill as Michu headed home Jonathan de Guzman's cross to level with his fourth league goal.

Centre-half Chico Flores then saw red with 20 minutes to go after referee Roger East deemed his challenge on sub Louis Saha too high.

But, despite being a man down, the Swans bravely pushed for a winner to maintain their perfect record.

It didn't come, but a point was a good reward given the circumstances as the Swans headed into the international break with seven points from three games.

It was the Swans who posed the first threat on goal as Routledge spread possession to Dyer and he raced past Jack Colback but saw his low shot well dealt with by Simon Mignolet.

Taylor then scuffed a low effort wide before he was stretchered off and replaced by Ben Davies.

Dyer then tested Mignolet with a dipping effort before Craig Gardner was booked for hauling down Routledge some 25 yards out down the left flank.

Sunderland were then forced into a change of their own, David Meyler coming on in place of injured skipper Lee Cattermole after 38 minutes.

And two minutes later, the away end were celebrating a goal from nothing. Williams' attempted backpass was way short, and Steven Fletcher latched on to it and curled a superb low effort into the bottom corner.

The Swans weren't behind for long though, as the score was level as the game entered the first of six added on minutes.

With the Swans camped outside the Sunderland box, Dyer's well-executed chipped pass caught the away defence flat-footed and Routledge powered a volley past Mignolet.

But Sunderland were back ahead before the break. An in-swinging free-kick dropped at the back post and Fletcher was there to stab home from close range.

The Swans started the second half well. Leon Britton misdirected his volley after Angel Rangel had nodded down Jonathan de Guzman's corner shortly after the Spaniard's own volley was directed into the side-netting.

Rangel and Dyer then linked up again. Williams' cross-field pass was headed into Dyer's path by the right-back, and when the winger raced on, Mignolet had to be alert to palm his shot wide.

Sunderland were defending resolutely, and they had to be at their best when de Guzman's free-kick was parried by Mignolet. Rangel and then Dyer got on to the loose ball, but the defence snuffed out his effort.

The Swans came again, de Guzman's cross this time causing problems and Michu rose highest but his header bounced off the surface and over the crossbar from eight yards out.

Graham was then probing, Dyer's through ball being controlled by the striker as he looked to unload. But the covering Gardner put in a superbly-timed block to put it out for a corner.

The pressure finally told. In the 67th minute, de Guzman's fine curling cross was met by the head of Michu, who nodded home.

Martin O'Neill responded by replacing Fletcher with Saha, before a big talking point arrived with 20 minutes to go.

A long ball from the visitors saw Saha and Chico tussling for the ball, and when the the striker went down as the Spaniard raised a high boot, the red card was shown.

Laudrup replaced Routledge with Alan Tate as the Swans looked to get more numbers at the back.

And, with 12 minutes to go, he made a third and final change as Ki Sung-Yueng came on for scorer Michu to make his Premier League debut.

The Swans kept pushing for a winner, and Dyer's volley was scuffed wide before the game entered four minutes of added on time.

Sunderland were then dealt a chance as the Swans failed to clear their lines, but sub Fraizer Campbell's shot was blocked by the diving Tate.

That was the end of the action as both teams took a share of the spoils.
 


SWANS: Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel, Chico Flores, Ashley Williams (capt), Neil Taylor (Ben Davies, 20), Leon Britton, Jonathan de Guzman, Michu (Ki Sung-Yueng, 78), Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge (Alan Tate 73), Danny Graham.
SUBS: Gerhard Tremmel, Kemy Agustien, Itay Shechter, Luke Moore.

SUNDERLAND: Simon Mignolet, Lee Cattermole (capt, David Meyler, 38), Sebastian Larsson, Craig Gardner, Jack Colback, John O'Shea, Adam Johnson, James McClean, Carlos Cuellar, Steven Fletcher (Louis Saha, 67), Stephane Sessegnon (Fraizer Campbell, 84).
SUBS: Matthew Kilgallon, Dong-Won Ji, Titus Bramble, Keiren Westwood.